Late yesterday, we headed over to the ZTE booth to check out the company's latest smartphone - the Grand Memo. The selling point? It's big and powerful - sporting a 5.7" display with a Snapdragon
800 600 processor of some kind.
Of course, that big display is only 720p. And that processor is paired with only 1GB of RAM. And it's using ZTE's Android acid trip of a UI overlay. ZTE also wasn't very honest about a couple of these specifications when the phone was initially announced. Basically, I wouldn't expect to see the ZTE Grand Memo make it very far outside China. Read More
NVIDIA's Tegra 4 platform raised a few eyebrows at CES, and a few more at Mobile World Congress. Now we're finally getting to see some compelling evidence of the chipset's superiority over Tegra 3and its current-gen competitors. But while NVIDIA is making a name for itself in the mobile OEM space, its bread and butter will always be gaming. So without further ado, here are a few of the first games that are taking advantage of Tegra 4 hardware.
Dead on Arrival 2
Not to be confused with Dead Trigger 2, Dead on Arrival 2 is the sequel to the top-down shooter already available on Google Play. Read More
After having a chance to play with the ZTE Grand Memo yesterday, I was a bit perplexed. It was kind of slow. Actually, it was really slow - I haven't seen UI lag like that on a top-tier smartphone in over a year. It was terrible switching between tasks, and while ZTE's hilariously overwrought UI is likely slowing it down a fair bit, something just didn't feel right for a phone allegedly running on the very latest Snapdragon chip.
Well, something was not right - because ZTE was very wrong about the specifications of its own product. Originally, ZTE claimed the Grand Memo had a Snapdragon 800 chipset - the most powerful mobile chip Qualcomm makes, and which probably isn't even available outside limited manufacturing samples at this point. Read More
While I was a bit too preoccupied at ASUS's press conference to really pay attention to the details of its products (you can find said details here), later in the day, I headed over to the ASUS booth on the MWC show floor to check out the Padfone Infinity and the Fonepad.
The Padfone Infinity was first on my list. After a few minutes with the phone portion, I wasn't particularly impressed, but I wasn't appalled, either. While the Snapdragon 600 processor moves the Padfone's... phone... along quickly, I don't really know what else to say about it - the device feels relatively solid, but looks exceptionally generic. Read More
There are a few surefire ways to get straight to a consumer's heart, and one of them is nostalgia. People love to be reminded of the good old days, and Sony has done just that, uploading a new Xperia Z spot that will take viewers back to the moon mission, the Berlin wall, roller skating on the beach, and playing video games, all with Sony products.
The ad then continues with a young couple joining in a Holi celebration using the Xperia Z, showing that Sony hasn't abandoned its iconic role in capturing or enhancing your most memorable moments. The video finishes by showing that, after running through plumes of colored powder and revelry, you can simply rinse the phone clean – after all, it's waterproof. Read More
It's been a week or so since Samsung decided to release some source code, so I guess it's time for a fix. The company just dropped the Jelly Bean source for the international variant of the original Galaxy Note, which received the 4.1.2 update back in mid-February.
You know the drill: download, tinker, enjoy. Hit the link to grab it.
Samsung Open Source Release Center Read More
We may be knee-deep in MWC coverage right now, but if you just can't stop thinking about how much you want a Galaxy Note 10.1, eBay's got a deal for you. For $380 with free shipping (taxes only applicable in NJ – sorry guys!), you can score Sammy's stylus-packing ten-incher, brand new in the box – meaning this one's not a refurb.
The Note 10.1 packs all sorts of nice tweaks on the software side that makes Android better on the whole, like multi-window, as well as numerous added functions thanks to the S-Pen. It's no slouch on the hardware side (aside from a less-than-stellar display resolution), either:
- 10.1" 1280x800 display
- 1.4GHz Quad-Core Exynos 4412 Processor
- Mali-400MP GPU
- 2 GB RAM
- 16/32/64GB ROM (Partitioned as Unified Storage!) with microSDHC slot
- 10.1 inch, 1280x800 LCD
- 7000mAh Non-Removable Battery
- 5MP Rear Camera, 1.9MP Front Camera
- WiFi A/B/G/N (2.4 & 5 GHz)
- Bluetooth 4.0+
- Dimensions: 262 x 180 x 8.9 mm
- Weight: 600g (3G), 597g (WiFi)
- Android 4.1 with TouchWiz
- Pressure Sensitive Pen and Wacom Digitizer
- Other Extras: An IR Blaster (a TV Remote), USB 2.0 Host, MHL
This deal's only good for the rest of today (unless they run out before), so if you're gonna bite, you better do it now. Read More
Update: Looks like ZTE may be fibbing a bit on the specs of this device, at least in what it's showing off as the "Grand Memo" at MWC...
Say hello to the newest entrant into the bigger-than-a-phone-but-not-quite-a-tablet arena: ZTE's Grand Memo. It's a massive 5.7" device with a resolution of 1280x720, Qualcomm's quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB built-in storage, and a 13MP camera, running Android 4.1. While a 1080p display would've been a nice addition, there's no denying that the Grand Memo is quite a powerful device.
It has a few ZTE-specific tweaks going on, as well – like a safe driving experience with car mode (creatively named, no?), ZTE’s Mifavor for a simplified user experience, and ZTE Z-Cloud... Read More
Pay-as-you-go Sprint subsidiary Boost Mobile would like you to know that they've got LTE service. It's okay if you didn't - it's not as if they had any phones that could take advantage of the speedier standard. But that should be rectified in just a couple of weeks, when the HTC One SV And the ZTE Force (officially the "Boost Force by ZTE," because American carriers like to push around smaller OEMs) become available for purchase. You can pick both of them up on March 7th for $299.99 and $199.99, respectively and without contract. Meanwhile, over at the other prepaid Sprint MVNO, Virgin is repackaging the Samsung Galaxy Victory 4G LTE for $299.99. Read More
Archos may not be the biggest dog on the block, but it does do a good job of supporting the hardware it releases. It's currently sending OTA updates to its 80/101 G9 and the 101XD tablets, which mostly just bring some minor bug fixes to the devices.
For the 80/101 G9, build 4.0.28 mostly brings video tweaks, as well as one small touchscreen optimization:
- HDMI: avoid interference of CEC detected as DPAD with some games such as Max Payne
- Video: fix playback of some MP4 files
- Video: fix aspect ratio on some H264 files
- Touchscreen panel: ensure on some devices a proper wakeup when powering screen back on
The 101XS is being bumped to v4.1.2, which delivers some application enhancements, HDMI playback improvements, and a fix for the Google backup manager:
- Archos applications: add Archos multimedia server back, update Archos Video, Music, File Manager, GamePad Mapping Tool to be in par with GooglePlay versions.